Shaquille ONeal played less than 40 games for the Boston Celtics this season, yet he provided fans with many more memorable moments before announcing his retirement on Wednesday. Take a look at five that stood out from ONeals time in Boston.
The Celtics said ONeal would bring energy to the team, and fans got a glimpse of just how much before the regular season even began. During Training Camp online videos showed 5-9 Nate Robinson dunking on 7-1 ONeal, Robinson teaming up with Rajon Rondo to body slam the big man, and ONeal participating in a dance-off with his teammates. You've got so many characters in this locker room, but I think when Shaq and Nate got together, they always combined for some good big guy-little guy humor, said Delonte West.
What better way to mingle with the fans of Boston than to pose as a human statue in the middle of Harvard Square? (Seems so obvious.) ONeal first revealed his plan on 98.5 The Sports Hub in October and then followed through a few weeks later, announcing the details on Twitter. He sat silently while fans gathered and posed with him for photos. "I can now tell everybody I went to Harvard," he said.
Following a practice on Halloween afternoon, ONeal revealed to reporters that he was going to dress up as a female character named Shaquita to celebrate the holiday that evening. No description he offered could have captured his final look in words. Wearing a short wig, tight outfit, and makeup, ONeal lip synced Beyonce and shared the moments on Twitter.
The 2000 Shaq
O'Neal posted a double-double with 25 points (9-10 FG) and 11 rebounds on November 24 in a 89-83 win over the New Jersey Nets. The standout stat -- he made four straight free throws in the comeback victory. "He looked like the 2000 Shaq," said Kevin Garnett. "He looked fresh tonight. He looked really good. I thought he did a great job of getting us in the bonus early. He definitely was the target tonight . . . On this team, night in and night out, we are going to have a different guy, from Paul Pierce to Ray Allen to anybody. And tonight it was Shaq."
Shaq Goes Pop
By the time the holidays rolled around, ONeal had already participated in so many entertaining endeavors that it didnt even seem unusual that he would conduct the Boston Pops. Pops conductor Keith Lockhart donned a number 18 Celtics jersey and introduced a tuxedo-clad O'Neal. Shaq led the orchestra for "Sleigh Ride," "Can You Feel It?" and a finale of "We Are the Champions."
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBAShe can bereached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
This season, all-NBA first team defender is the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.
WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”